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Multifactorial assessment and targeted intervention to reduce falls among the oldest-old: a randomized controlled trial

Authors Ferrer A, Formiga F, Sanz H, de Vries OJ, Badia T, Pujol R, Studygroup O

Received 14 November 2013

Accepted for publication 14 December 2013

Published 25 February 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 383—394


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Assumpta Ferrer,1 Francesc Formiga,2,3 Héctor Sanz,4 Oscar J de Vries,5 Teresa Badia,6 Ramón Pujol2,3

On behalf of the OCTABAIX Study Group

1Primary Healthcare Centre "El Plà" CAP-I, Sant Feliu de Llobregat, 2Geriatric Unit, Internal Medicine Service, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, 3Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 4Support Research Unit, Primary Health Department Costa Ponent, IDIAP Jordi Gol, Barcelona, Spain; 5Department of Internal Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 6Primary Healthcare Centre Martorell, Barcelona, Spain

Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention to reduce falls among the oldest-old people, including individuals with cognitive impairment or comorbidities.
Methods: A randomized, single-blind, parallel-group clinical trial was conducted from January 2009 to December 2010 in seven primary health care centers in Baix Llobregat (Barcelona). Of 696 referred people who were born in 1924, 328 were randomized to an intervention group or a control group. The intervention model used an algorithm and was multifaceted for both patients and their primary care providers. Primary outcomes were risk of falling and time until falls. Data analyses were by intention-to-treat.
Results: Sixty-five (39.6%) subjects in the intervention group and 48 (29.3%) in the control group fell during follow-up. The difference in the risk of falls was not significant (relative risk 1.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.94–1.75). Cox regression models with time from randomization to the first fall were not significant. Cox models for recurrent falls showed that intervention had a negative effect (hazard ratio [HR] 1.46, 95% CI 1.03–2.09) and that functional impairment (HR 1.42, 95% CI 0.97–2.12), previous falls (HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.74–1.60), and cognitive impairment (HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.72–1.60) had no effect on the assessment.
Conclusion: This multifactorial intervention among octogenarians, including individuals with cognitive impairment or comorbidities, did not result in a reduction in falls. A history of previous falls, disability, and cognitive impairment had no effect on the program among the community-dwelling subjects in this study.

Keywords: elderly, falls, intervention

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